Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life Lessons-We Are Created For Community

I'm not the least bit embarrassed to admit that I've been feeling a little homesick lately and no matter how many times our family moves, Louisiana will always be "home" in my heart. It's where most of my siblings and relatives live, along with my amazing dad who just turned 84 this month. 

Oh, how I love to cross the border line that launches our family into the great Pelican State. You can almost smell the fried shrimp and Cajun gumbo. Or, taste the powdered sugar that settles on your tongue while you're savoring each bit of those delicious Cafe' Du Monde Beignets. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

I think there's another reason why I'm homesick though. It's because the weather is getting colder here in North Carolina and becoming more Winter-ish each day. People are staying indoors and fewer neighbors are outside walking their dogs. Friends have less time to visit because everyone is running from store to store, checking off their Christmas list and stocking up on red ribbon and ornaments.

If I'm not careful, I can easily slip into a lonely spell that will have me living in sweatpants and eating comfort food for the next 3 months. That would not be good for my attitude or my waistline! You see, I'm quite the social gal and love spending time with family and friends.The more the merrier is my favorite mantra when it comes to mingling with others.

During this time of the year, I have to be more intentional about creating opportunities for community. You know, getting together with friends and making plans to do something fun every once in a while.

What about you? Do you tend to get a little lonely at times and feel as though you're homesick for family and friends? Maybe you spend your days at home alone, while the kids are at school. Or, your work requires you to travel a lot and the smell of airports and hotel rooms brings tears to your eyes because you'd rather be home instead.

This week's Life Lesson is about Community and how we are especially designed for it. I hope you'll take a few minutes out of your busy day to watch this short video I've created just for you. I'd love for you to leave a comment and share some of your ideas too!
At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we have several online communities, online Bible Studies, and Gather & Grow Groups to choose from. It's a great way for you to develop friendships, while studying the Bible, with women in your own community, throughout the US, or even in other countries. Wouldn't it be oh-so-cool to have a Bible study buddie in England or France?

Here's the best part - it can be done from the convenience of your own home. This can be such an added plus, especially for those of you who are soon-to-be digging snow out of your driveway just to make a McDonalds run for some fries and a burger.

Click here to find out more about our P31 groups today.

Question: What are some ways that you have created community in your own circle of influence?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all

Today would not be complete without saying thanks to all of our friends and family. We have so much to be grateful for and YOU are a big part of our thankful hearts!

Although this year has certainly had it's share of crazy ups and downs, we've not only survived but thrived as a family because of the support, encouragement, and love of others.  

Our prayer today is that your family will be blessed in many ways and experience the true hope, love, and peace that comes from God. May He fill your homes with unspeakable joy this Thanksgiving Day. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

The DiPascal Family

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Life Lessons-How To Create A Consistent Quiet Time

Do you struggle with having a consistent quiet time? Is your day filled with so many activities and demands that you don't even have time to pray?  Maybe you've been wanting to set aside time but you just don't know how to get started and stay committed on a consistent basis.

If that's you, then I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Below is a video I created with you in mind. It's a how-to session on developing a consistent quiet time.

If you are like me, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed with all that needs to get done each day. And, you might be wondering, how on earth can I find time to spend with God when there's just so much to do!

So, grab a cup of coffee or green tea and spend a few minutes with me (hey, that rhymes :-)
To recap, here are our action steps:
1. Choose a specific time each day.
2. Find a quiet place to be alone.
3. Avoid distractions.
4. Quiet Time Supply List: Bible, devotional book. pen, and notepad.
5. Start and end with prayer.
6. Reading Options: Proverbs or Psalms (Old Testament)  John or The Gospels (New Testament)
7. Apply something that you learned to experience life transformation.

Maybe you have some techniques of your own. I'd love for you to share them with me.  Or, maybe you can share what you're biggest struggle is with having a consistent quiet time.

I can't wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In God We Trust

Election day...

For months we've been hearing about it, talking about it, praying about it, and preparing for it. What once seemed like a distant date on the 2012 calendar, is now upon us.  

Honestly, at times, I've felt like little Abby, wanting desperately for all the political commercials, news interviews, and election poll commentaries to be over with. I even thought about flushing my cell phone down the toilet last week when I received yet another one of those recorded advertisements. Are you receiving those too?

Yet, today there seems to be a sense of excitement and energy in the air. People are taking off early from work and heading to the polls. They appear eager and ready to cast their ballot to make a difference. I voted last week and waited in line for over an hour. I've heard reports of people waiting as long as three hours to cast their votes! 

When all the votes are tallied and the electoral numbers are counted, we'll witness history in the making. Tomorrow will be a happy day for some and a not-so-happy day for others. I'm not sure who will be our President for the next four years but I'm certain of this. No matter what happens, God is in control. He is sovereign and loves justice. He is faithful and will always take care of His children. No matter what, He remains in charge and nothing or no one can change that.  

Knowing this gives me hope and encourages me today.

If you wake up tomorrow morning and your candidate didn't win, I pray that you will also be encouraged by knowing this truth. The One who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present will rule and reign today and forever more.

Now that's good news!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Life Lessons - Changing the Way We Think

Did you know that if you change the way you think, it will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act, and ultimately the way you choose to live? This is great news, if we already have a healthy positive thought life. If we tend to think negatively, well then, we've got some work to do.

This week's video is by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She has a Masters and PhD in Communications Pathology. Dr. Leaf has researched the human brain for over 20 years and teaches with a particular emphasis on unlocking its vast, untapped potential. She is brilliant, beautiful, and a very strong Christian. Dr. Leaf's teachings are backed up by Scripture, which is what I love most about her professional ministry.  

This video was filmed during an interview with Dr. Leaf and Joyce Meyers on the Enjoying Everyday Life program. Although it includes a few technical "brain-y" medical terms, the information is fascinating and essential for creating a healthy thought life.

Here are some amazing facts that Dr. Leaf talks about in this video. Did you know...

* You have over 100 trillion nerve cells in your brain.
* When you have a negative thought, you actually grow a "thorn" on one of your nerve cells.
* Because you are created in the image of God, your brain is naturally wired to think positively.
* Your brain performs over 400 billion acts per second.
* Your intelligence has no cap! You determine how smart you can become by choosing to continue learning  new things.

Wow! Don't you feel smarter already? Click on the link below and if you can, grab a pen and paper to take some notes.

Video - Dr. Caroline Leaf
 2010-07-14, Joyce Meyer - Your Brain and You (Dr. Caroline Leaf & Joyce Meyer).© Copyright 2010 Dr. Leaf. All rights reserved.

Wasn't that a great video? Now, to remember what we learned, lets take some action steps:

1. Be sure to ask/answer/discuss this information within the next 48 hours.Otherwise, it will get stored in the la-la-land of our brains. Note: I have lots of "stuff" stored in the la-la land of my brain.

2. Let's memorize this Scripture verse:
 Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (GW)

3. Pass this video along to a friend, sister, mother, daughter, or anyone who you think might benefit from it, so they can start renewing their mind too.

Let's do something fun! I'm giving away a copy of "Who Switched off My Brain" and would love for you to win. I read this book last year and by applying what I've learned plus memorizing Scripture, it has drastically changed the way I think. I want you to experience that same change too - and you can!

To qualify for the giveaway, leave a comment below, sharing something that you're struggling with in your thought life right now. Or, share something that you've been able to overcome, because you chose to change your thought patterns and to renew your mind with God's Word.      

Who Switched Off My Brain?  Revised: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotionshttp:/

One last thing: If you need some encouragement, be sure to log onto Proverbs 31 Ministries and read today's daily devotional by Lysa TerKeurst. It's our gift to you, from Proverbs 31 Ministries.